Beyoncé had been promoting a mysterious something called “Lemonade,” that would premiere on HBO on April 23, 2016. No one knew what it was, but everyone suspected an album (it is currently available on the music streaming service Tidal and available for download on iTunes).
As we got our snacks and drinks together to get ready to watch, my friend urged her boyfriend to watch “Lemonade” as well, telling him, “With Beyoncé it’s not just a music video, it’s a cinematic production.”
I did not know that my night would end on such a pleasant note. It was more than pleasant though. I became more woke, inspired, motivated, and spirited than I’ve ever been before watching a music video. She premiered “Lemonade” as an hour-long series of music videos to create a visual album. What makes this different than previous efforts, however, was that the production featured poetry and the sound was so different. I found myself asking, “When will Beyonce peak when everything she does is different and better than the last?” She’s iconic.
Fans spent all night speculating about what the lyrics could possibly mean. Is she getting a divorce? “Lemonade” is like a visual memoir, with Beyoncé shedding light into her personal life since she is rarely in the media these days. Another thing people will speculate about is the constant representation of not only black people but black females and the homage she pays to her ancestry. It reminds me of the one lyric in her single “Formation” where she says, ” You know you that B*tch when you cause all this conversation.” Songs such as “Hold Up,” “Daddy Lessons,” “Freedom” and “Formation” express all these things.
The album has influences from almost every major music genre including reggae, rock, and country. It features trailblazing artists such as Jack White (formerly a part of the 90s band the White Stripes and who has seemingly influenced her music so much lately), the Weeknd, Kendrick Lamar, and James Blake. Every lyric is quotable, honest, haunting, daunting, intimidating or sweet, but never less than poetic. And Beyonce’s vocals only seem to get better. They sound more and more mature on this album.
“Lemonade” is more than a homage or a Declaration of Independence from her husband Jay Z and her haters, it’s pro black and black feminist. If you didn’t believe this about yourself before, you will start to believe now, girl, that your black femininity is magic. When you feel down, as if life can just go on without you, remember that you have as much time in a day as Beyoncé. This was definitely a highlight of my weekend. For me, “Lemonade” has never tasted so good.